petite anglaise

August 19, 2009


Filed under: knocked up — petiteanglaiseparis @ 1:52 pm

I’m fed up of being pregnant.

‘I honestly feel like time has slowed to a crawl,’ I moan to The Boy as I toss and turn, trying to find a comfortable position in bed. ‘I swear, this has been the longest seven months of my entire life…’

‘Not long to wait now,’ he replies, doing his utmost to sound both positive and comforting.

Officially, though, D-day is still another nine, maybe ten weeks away. And that doesn’t feel like ‘not long’ at all.

I know I should count my blessings. I’m not on enforced bed rest, or suffering from gestational diabetes or high blood pressure. I’m simply twelve kilos heavier, with occasional shooting pains in my left buttock (sciatica) and an odd tingly burning sensation in my left knee when I walk (also sciatica). Getting to sleep at night is a challenge (not least because if I don’t manage to fall asleep before The Boy, I have to work on tuning out his snoring) and I often end up surfing the internet at silly o’clock, marvelling at the veins in Madonna’s arms or chuckling (quietly) at photos of Lolcats to pass the time until I’m finally too exhausted to fidget and deem it time to return to bed.

By day, aside from making inroads into the towering pile of books on my bedside table, developing new television addictions and doing the odd bit of book release related stuff, I’m not really gainfully employed just now. With maternity leave looming, I decided I’d rather not rush into working on a new project straight away. There couldn’t be a better time, I figured, to take step back from the whirlwind of the past three years and give myself the space to work out just where I want to go from here.

But the inactivity is beginning to weigh on me, and Tadpole’s prolonged absences this summer certainly haven’t helped. Since we returned from our family holiday in Turkey, in mid-July, she’s been away more often than not, and is currently with her French grandparents, returning to Paris only a couple of days before she’s due to start ‘big school’.

Without a doubt she’s much better off elsewhere, doing lots of fun activities with people who can waddle more than a few metres without running short of breath. But I miss her. I miss our cuddles in the morning, her touching solicitude (‘mummy, will you be alright on the stairs?’) and the kisses she has taken to planting on my protruding bellybutton.

Mindful of her sometime reluctance to speak on the phone, I decided to set up a Tadpolemail™ account in an attempt to spur her into keeping in touch while she’s away. Typically my daughter’s messages are short, sweet, peppered with the sorts of mistakes French people usually make when speaking English and, last but not least, guaranteed to bring a tear to my eye.

hello mummy

I want to have my bath in a minute and I love to talk to you at the telephone

lots of kisses from

tadpole xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


  1. Tadpole is just precious !

    Comment by Nick C — August 19, 2009 @ 2:02 pm

  2. Chin up, Petite!

    Comment by Eleni — August 19, 2009 @ 2:29 pm

  3. What a cute letter! Sounds like you need a prenatal massage!

    Comment by Jess — August 19, 2009 @ 3:04 pm

  4. Having been on bedrest (not because of pegnancy!) myself you have my sympathy. Time does pass though : )


    Comment by Billygean — August 19, 2009 @ 3:36 pm

  5. Sweet girl!

    I feel your pain on the end of pregnancy and time standing still. I feel the same. Anxiously awaiting to be able to sleep again. hang in there…

    Comment by Aimee — August 19, 2009 @ 3:43 pm

  6. She really does sound a sweetie. I’ve just noticed your novel is out next week – there’s something to be excited about! I’ll keep my eye out for it :)

    Comment by L.C.T. — August 19, 2009 @ 3:49 pm

  7. Another 10 weeks to go, meaning that your due date is around the 14th of October?

    I can only imagine what it feels like to carry around an extra 12 kilos in the summer… but at least you know it’s temporary, although 10 weeks can seem like a very long time. It’ll all be worth it in the end, so hang in there:)

    Tadpole is a riot as always:)

    Say, have you come up with a nickname for Tadpole’s little brother?:)

    Comment by Duchesse — August 19, 2009 @ 3:51 pm

  8. Tadpole is too cute :)
    you’re almost there…

    Comment by madeleine — August 19, 2009 @ 3:52 pm

  9. OMG, I also send xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx in text messages (and makes “french mistakes” too)!

    Ah, just noticed the new book. Hope it is available soon… because I know already a dear someone I want to give it to!

    Comment by Vonric — August 19, 2009 @ 4:11 pm

  10. ah petite!

    i started reading your blog slap bang in the middle of my Alevels…and thank heavens for that! you provided the right dose of everything i needed to keep me sane through that ever so slightly crazy time. much like you, i am definitely a francophile, so reading through your blog posts made me feel a lot less silly for thinking that a girl from a tiny island (Malta – google it, it really is tiny) could some day end up in Paris (fingers&all other crossable body parts crossed!) sorry for boring you with this, take care and stay strong ^-^

    Comment by martine — August 19, 2009 @ 4:17 pm

  11. What a little sweetie!

    The last couple of months of pregnancy are endless, aren’t they!? It was the one time I was happy to be in an office (with good internet access) because time spent at home seemed to drag on. Also I’m very glad my daughter was a winter baby so at least I wasn’t weighed down by the heat as well as the bump.

    Good luck with the next few weeks and a special good luck to Tadpole for a first day at big school!!

    Comment by Hazy — August 19, 2009 @ 4:34 pm

  12. Oh, I am addicted to True Blood too! It is so dark and nasty (in a good way).

    Twilight (written AFTER the Southern Vampire Mysteries) seems like such a tamer version of (and ripped of from) True Blood.

    I assume you have the box set of the Six Feet Under DVDs?


    Comment by Zoe — August 19, 2009 @ 4:44 pm

  13. I am at roughly the same point as you (32 weeks today, due 14 October), and am feeling similarly fed up, despite most of it being down to discomfort and tiredness, rather than really big problems.

    Tadpole is adorable and will no doubt make a wonderful big sister.

    Comment by Coding Mamm (Tasha) — August 19, 2009 @ 5:08 pm

  14. Petite! Just finished your book… very nice! Happy to see you’re still blogging. Actually just started blogging myself. Good luck with your last few weeks of pregnancy! Bisous

    Comment by Steph — August 19, 2009 @ 5:16 pm

  15. The last nine months are always the hardest. They were for me. I had 24/7/9mos sickness and lived in Ghana, West Africa without an AC most of the time.

    Fortunately, there came an end to it when my wonderful big, black, African doctor wearing rubber boots and a white butcher apron delivered me safely of my bundle of joy in his spanking new clinic. Ah, memories!

    Hang in there!

    Miss Footloose

    Comment by Miss Footloose — August 19, 2009 @ 5:18 pm

  16. ooohhh, having to stay in bed, that must be awful. It would be fun for a long day of rest, but after that…best wishes to you!

    By the way, I was Barnes and Noble yesterday looking for your books, but they did not have any available. I’ll have to go to Amazon! But, I’m looking forward to reading.

    Comment by Shari — August 19, 2009 @ 6:05 pm

  17. Oh,,,,,,,lovely, delicate, dainty Petite. That little message from tadpole is exactly why this last leg is SO worth it. She’s showing you why you’re mucking through, in her little innocent way. Those tear inducing words, will be multiplied by two. You’ll be crying with joy non-stop!

    Comment by beaunejewels — August 19, 2009 @ 6:20 pm

  18. Oh, sweet Tadpole!
    Her mail almost brought a tear to my eye too!

    Comment by Fanny — August 19, 2009 @ 6:38 pm

  19. Enjoy it whilst it lasts, if that is possible. You will have no time and sleepless nights for another reason in a few weeks. Seriously though, having been there I do know how difficult and uncomfortable it is.


    Comment by Googlebear — August 19, 2009 @ 7:17 pm

  20. Hello Catherine, I was pleased to find your new book on sale yesterday and am already half way through already – I love it !! As a single mum in Paris there are so many familiar experiences… and some familiar haunts. I don’t think it will encourage me to try online dating again though…
    Hang on in there and good luck to Tadpole for starting CP !

    Comment by Kate — August 19, 2009 @ 7:25 pm

  21. It’s like you’re running a marathon, and we’re all here to urge you on. “You can do it!” “Not long now!” “Way to go Petite!”

    Comment by ellie — August 19, 2009 @ 9:48 pm

  22. @Kate – Ooh! The funny thing about release dates is that bookshops don’t seem to respect them much… They receive the books and then put them out whenever they feel like it!

    To anyone looking to get hold of a copy in the UK, your best bets are the high street bookshops like Smiths, and online sellers like Amazon, of course. In France various English language bookshops will stock it, I think.

    Comment by petite — August 19, 2009 @ 10:58 pm

  23. I actually bought the book in WHS Manchester Piccadilly station… haven’t noticed it anywhere else. By the way the cover design really stands out and I prefer the title to ‘Rendez-vous’ now that I’ve seen it for real. I also like the portrait of the unseen ‘Rivoire’ as someone who works for a not too distant rival…!

    Comment by Kate — August 19, 2009 @ 11:14 pm

  24. Try Pilates for Pregnancy by Melinda Bryant. Only 15 min a day 3x a week. It worked wonders for my back pain and leg pain when I was pregnant with my twins (babies #4 and 5!).

    Comment by SleeplessInKL — August 20, 2009 @ 12:36 am

  25. I have bought your book “French Kissing” last week coincidencely.I havent had any idea that you have a blog.I have just read then looked your blog.That’s nice!!

    Comment by nesli — August 20, 2009 @ 12:37 am

  26. Your tadpole is such the sweetie!

    Comment by ~Tim — August 20, 2009 @ 2:47 am

  27. Regarding the sciatica–I suffered from it pretty badly, until I discovered that my beloved chiropractor could fix it.

    Well, not quite fix it. But definitely make it better, for a few weeks at a time, until the baby gets big enough that it throws you off again.

    I never would have made it through my pregnancy so well without my chiro. Find a good one; I guarantee you won’t regret it.

    Comment by tasha — August 20, 2009 @ 3:13 am

  28. Have pre-ordered my copy of French Kissing through The Book Depository in the UK as I am too impatient to wait for it to be released in NZ (whenever that may be…). I know where you are coming from being heavily pregnant in Summer… I survived on crushed ice by the huge glassful, continuously – worked a treat!

    Comment by Lianne — August 20, 2009 @ 4:26 am

  29. I have obviously been living under a rock up here in Scotland as I only just finished reading Petite Anglaise about 3 weeks ago, couldn’t put it down and had to find the blog.

    Well I spent the next couple weeks reading the blog from start to finish, I think a trip to Specsavers is now in order loved every part of it and am now completely hooked.

    Looking out for your new book can’t wait to read it.

    Comment by Michelle — August 20, 2009 @ 9:31 am

  30. Don’t look at Madonna’s arms at night! That will definitely cause nightmares if you ever manage to fall asleep.

    On a more serious note, I cannot wait for your second book to come out–I have enjoyed your writing a lot (I think I have to wait a bit longer to get in the US). I did it in reverse though, as I discovered the blog from the first book. I sometimes felt like I was treating you and your struggles almost like those of a fictional character’s, but I was quite pleased to see you get your happy ending that you so deserve.

    Good Luck with the rest of the pregnancy!

    Comment by Lilly — August 20, 2009 @ 10:54 am

  31. I can’t say I know how you feel, as I will never conceive without professional assistance, but hang in there-in 10 weeks you will have your lovely baby boy to hold. I wonder if you have a name for him. Make the most of it for us who can’t-of course you have a right to grumble, who wouldn’t!? But always remember what a miracle you are blessed with too. Good luck

    Comment by Maxi — August 20, 2009 @ 1:54 pm

  32. xx

    Comment by Tiffany — August 20, 2009 @ 2:10 pm

  33. ps aim for 10/10!

    Comment by Tiffany — August 20, 2009 @ 2:14 pm

  34. You could always blog more if you’re bored ;-) ?!

    Comment by Nel — August 20, 2009 @ 3:32 pm

  35. That is so sweet. I really hope the time passes quickly for you!

    Comment by Margarita — August 20, 2009 @ 3:42 pm

  36. At least it will be worth it when you hold your newborn in your arms for the first time.
    Hang in there!

    Comment by Poser — August 20, 2009 @ 5:45 pm

  37. @Nel: I would, but there’s not a lot to report!

    Comment by petite — August 20, 2009 @ 5:53 pm

  38. So sweet she is! Yes, the end is tedious but you can use this time to finish up some last minute stuff if you have any. I assume you do not have baby showers and such in France? Are you registered online at all?

    Comment by Juli — August 20, 2009 @ 5:56 pm

  39. Bon courage Petite.

    Comment by Jim — August 20, 2009 @ 7:21 pm

  40. Hi, Just read first book! Last week moved to Paris suburbs, your book was a good intro. Find myself identifying with bus stops and Metro. Jolly hot here!

    Comment by Lillibet — August 20, 2009 @ 8:09 pm

  41. Seems like you like quite gothic TV shows, lol. Hope you’re well

    Comment by Java — August 20, 2009 @ 9:20 pm

  42. This is the peace and quiet before the storm – nice to see you back in my RSS reader and good to know Tadpole has lost none of her charm – next step will be her own blog. Good luck for the next stage of the adventure !

    Comment by Mark — August 20, 2009 @ 9:41 pm

  43. Impatience… just when Tadpole sleeps all night and alittle more… up pop comes the newest boy! Enjoy whatever sleep you can.

    Congrats on your 2nd book and your time off to focus on the here and now and the future. I’m so glad this all worked out for you.

    Comment by Danna — August 21, 2009 @ 12:58 am

  44. How sweet !!! “Hang” in there :-)))


    Comment by ==Alaska — August 21, 2009 @ 2:43 am

  45. Stock up on your favourite treat,you know the one thing you have vowed not to have after the baby arrives in order to regain your svelte figure!…and indulge yourself for the last few remaining weeks.It will make the time pass more sweetly.

    Mine was jelly babies and maltesers..yummy.

    Comment by lex — August 21, 2009 @ 2:18 pm

  46. A friend just lent me your first book – a great read for a fellow pregnant woman on bedrest!! We are due with in a week or so of each other….I wish you better sleep in the coming weeks. I look forward to your blog becoming one of my daily reads as I sit with my bottom firmly fixed to my couch.

    Comment by nicole — August 22, 2009 @ 12:34 am

  47. Oh, 10 weeks seems like such a long time to wait, and then BOOM! 10 years have passed and you’ll say “what the &^%$ just happened?”

    Comment by Rebecca — August 22, 2009 @ 1:36 pm

  48. I tried to find you novel on Amazon in Canada, but I could only find “The Art of French Kissing” which I don’t really need ;-) and “French Kissing Babes (DVD)- euh… no comment … :-))

    Any idea when your novel will be available in Canada?

    Comment by Jacques — August 22, 2009 @ 7:16 pm

  49. Tadpole is so sweet!

    I remember the same feeling of impatience towards the end of my pregnancies. I imagine the hot summer weather is not the best thing at this time either.
    As regards discomfort in sleeping, there are some great maternity pillows that you can arrange however feels best to you while you’re pregnant and then use again for breastfeeding when baby arrives – they might also be of assistance in relieving your sciatica, which is very unpleasant, as I know from experience.

    Now is the time to pamper yourself, before Tadpole comes back and before you have sleepless nights for a different reason! :)

    So: go for a massage (great for circulation, guaranteed to make you feel lighter afterwards) or go and just float for as long as you can in a swimming-pool or jacuzzi; whatever makes you feel better ‘dans ta peau’.

    I also remember a very strong nesting instinct that caused me to organise old photo albums, sort through files, rearrange wardrobes and cupboards, etc. If it hasn’t hit you yet, be prepared! :)

    Congrats on your second book and wishing you all the best in these last few weeks!

    Comment by happyforyou — August 22, 2009 @ 7:17 pm

  50. Hi, I’m a nurse and can feel your pain but your a verry lucky woman that youd idn’t have any disease accept a horid back pain. I know its not plesant but the thoughts of having your second child in ten weeks wil pleace you i sepose. I live with you and can feel your problems, i hope you have a good bunch of friends and family ho suport you and the rest wil be penuts.

    Comment by Aaron — August 22, 2009 @ 10:29 pm

  51. Just read the “novel”, so looked up the blog. Like you, fallen in love with France, though more rural – Manche – than big city and now living here. Will be visiting regurlarly to keep up with the news. Best wishes.

    Comment by bob — August 22, 2009 @ 11:40 pm

  52. Hi Petite,
    I just found your new book in WHS in Stratford, London. It was no. 2 on their in-store book chart, so well done!
    I have started reading it and am already hooked!
    Good choice of name for the heroine by the way ;-)

    Comment by Sally — August 23, 2009 @ 7:00 pm

  53. Picked up your novel at Edinburgh airport last week – made a great beach read – on a southern French beach not a Scottish one!!! Thanks for your blog and all the anglo meets French life scenes that I recognise from my own life in your book. Being reminded of them brought a smile to my face (eating in public for example). Good luck with the final weeks of your pregnancy.

    Comment by Loopy63 — August 23, 2009 @ 10:39 pm

  54. Hello! Love your blog…. :)

    I’m a yoga instructor, deal regularly with sciatica myself, and have helped other mom’s-to-be with it – try sitting upright in a dining chair, cross the ankle of affected leg over the other thigh and gently press the knee out to the side while actively softening your bum. This’ll stretch out the piriformis and other hip muscles that tend to tighten up during pregnancy and irritate the sciatic nerve. When it stretches enough that you don’t feel a stretch from doing this, start to lean forward slightly to find the deeper stretch.

    I hope that helps!

    Comment by Caroline — August 25, 2009 @ 1:22 am

  55. Hello Petite,

    Just wanted to cheer you up and say that my copy of French Kissing has arrived (thank you Amazon) and although I haven’t started reading it yet, I know already that it is fabulous.

    Best wishes to you all….

    Comment by Elise — August 25, 2009 @ 10:52 am

  56. Definitely worth trying a Chiropractor as Tasha recommended. After my first 2 pregnancies suffering, I visited a Chiropractor on my 3rd, fed up with constant vomiting and getting ‘stuck’ in agony. After half an hour of lying with the Chiropractor’s hand under my bottom, he announced that when I stood up I would feel light-headed as he had manipulated my pelvis to release the nerve. He certainly had and I have never suffered since.

    Make the most of the last 10 weeks, at least you always know where he is!!!

    Comment by 3boymum — August 25, 2009 @ 5:57 pm

  57. Hi, just wishing you good luck on the final (uncomfortable leg) of the pregnancy. Moving to Paris, I came upon your blog and spent two days of my precious time here glued to it. You inspired me to start my own in which I reference you.

    At one stage I say ‘I hate her’ but trust me its meant lightly and to be taken with a pinch of salt and a big bunch of sour grapes! Great writing, great stuff! Lookng forward to more posts.


    Comment by Francaphile — August 26, 2009 @ 12:11 am

  58. Picked up Petite Anglaise after reading a review for French Kissing & just finished hopping from post to post on your blog. Love it!

    For your last trimester I prescribe swimming, carnal gymnastics and your fave TV show (it was The Sopranos for me) back to back.

    All the best chuck,
    Lisa in Lancs x

    Comment by Lancashire Lass — August 26, 2009 @ 9:50 am

  59. Casting my mind back the carnal gymnastics occured in first and second trimester, can definitely recommend horror movies and gangster films to while away the hours.

    Comment by Lancashire Lass — August 26, 2009 @ 10:18 am

  60. Hi Petite!

    Long time reader, first time submitter! You were in last night’s (25/8) London Paper but here’s the article online:

    I shall cut the article out and place it in your new book when I buy it at lunchtime today!

    Thanks for all the great stories!

    Comment by Dionne — August 26, 2009 @ 11:39 am

  61. It was a pleasant surprise to check and this time find a new entry. Each time you post you bring happiness to all of your readers. It is very unselfish of you to do so, despite the travails of the final months of your pregnancy. I have noted that fewer comments on the last two entries are made by men. We feel so awkward in what seems definitely a woman’s world at the moment. Nonetheless we think of you and pray for you and your family, including the “to be” one. Thanks for writing.

    Comment by Steve G — August 26, 2009 @ 5:20 pm

  62. Not that long to go Petite! I’m the same age as you, and also in a new (good and loving) relationship after the break up of the last (mine was a marriage though). I found my current partner through an online dating site, after having gone through the inevitable number of “dates” where you just want to head stright for the toilet and out through the window, if at all possible. (I could write the proverbial book too, only never as skillful as you can). I have 2 kids already, but being with someone, with whom I feel so at ease and happy makes me broody. And there is the point I’m wanting to make: You might get impatiant and fed up now, but try to cherish it. I cannot have another baby with my partner, because years ago, during his previous marriage “they” decided that “they” would not have any more kids, which led him to have a vasectomy. You are so blessed to be expecting a little boy with the man that you love… It’s not like that for all of us. With second or third times round comes baggage of course, but even though you can be very happy with the package as a whole, and not mind about the baggage, sometimes it can include items which are hard to come to terms with. Sometimes I feel robbed of exactly the thing that you are going through just now… just enjoy it. It might be the last time…

    On a more joyfull note>> very much looking forward to your new book! Been looking for it, but as I’m out in the sticks in the Scottish Borders, I guess I’ll have to wait till the actual release date (which is very soon now anyway).

    Good to see you are still posting the occasional post here as well!

    Bon courage!

    Comment by Piece of Chocolate — August 27, 2009 @ 2:46 am

  63. Hi Catherine,

    Firstly I’d like to say I’ve just read your book and loved it, your writing style is great and look forward to reading your first novel. A quick question..I am currently living with a Frenchman in London who wants to return to Paris. I of course will need to get a job and I remembered you did some sort of course to allow you to be a biligual pa…you said you did in England and I wondered what the actual course was called and where you did it….obviously any other advice on surviving living in Paris would gratefully be recieved…

    Congratulations on your new pregnancy…

    Kindest Regards


    Comment by Penny — August 27, 2009 @ 10:21 am

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